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DND hires a handful of mental health health workers to combat suicides

OTTAWA - The country's top military commander says National Defence has hired seven mental health workers and offered jobs to as many as two dozen other professionals in the wake of a series of suicides last fall. Gen. Tom Lawson says the military is moving away from the notion that it's normal for soldiers to suffer silently with the symptoms of mental illness and trauma.

First biomarker could help boys at risk of major depression

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - British brain scientists have identified the first biomarker, or biological signpost, for clinical depression and say it could help find boys in particular who are at risk of developing the debilitating mental illness.

Woman charged with attempted murder following London terror raids

London police on Wednesday charged a woman with attempted murder following terror raids on three properties that also led to the arrest of the teenage son of a senior British diplomat. Police said they would take no further action against the 19-year-old, but that 36-year-old Kuntal Patel, also arrested in the Counter-Terrorism Command raids, had been charged. She will appear at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, police said in a statement.

Man found not criminally responsible for deaths of two men in Halifax

HALIFAX - The unsettling case of a young man who claimed to be a vampire slayer when he murdered two Halifax men in 2007 concluded Friday when a judge declared him not criminally responsible for the crimes. Judge Kevin Coady of Nova Scotia Supreme Court decided Glen Race was too mentally ill with schizophrenia to understand that his "psychotic mission " was morally wrong. "It is important to realize that Mr. Race, his family and friends are victims as well," Coady said in a written decision. "They are victims of the cruel and unforgiving illness of schizophrenia."

Genetic causes of schizophrenia are multiple

Schizophrenia is caused by a large number of rare genetic mutations rather than a few, easily-identifiable faulty genes, said scientists who compiled the world's largest database on the debilitating disorder. Two studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature said the genetic triggers for the mental illness that affects about one in 100 people were far more complex than previously thought. Gathering data from nearly 7,000 people in Bulgaria and Sweden, two teams of scientists said genes implicated in schizophrenia worked in clusters to disrupt specific proteins.

It's 'premature' to let snowplow cop killer into community, Crown says

TORONTO - It's "premature" to allow a man who killed a Toronto police officer with a snowplow into the community before doctors can figure out the nature of his mental illness, the Ontario government argued Monday in court. Ontario's highest court is considering a Crown appeal of a review board decision to allow staff at a psychiatric hospital to escort Richard Kachkar on trips into the community. Kachkar has been detained in a secure forensic ward at the Ontario Shores facility in Whitby, Ont., since he was found not criminally responsible for killing Sgt. Ryan Russell.

NYC first daughter confesses to drug, alcohol abuse

The teenage daughter of New York's incoming mayor confessed on Christmas Eve to smoking pot and underage drinking in an astonishing video she said could help others battling depression. Nineteen-year-old Chiara de Blasio features alone in the nearly five-minute video, announcing that she suffers from clinical depression, had smoked weed and drank alcohol. The professionally produced, slick video was posted on YouTube and emailed to reporters by her father, Bill de Blasio, who takes office as New York mayor on January 1, and mother Chirlane.

Targacept shares plunge after schizophrenia drug dropped

(Reuters) - Targacept Inc <TRGT.O> shares lost nearly a third of their value before the bell on Tuesday, a day after the company said it would stop developing its experimental schizophrenia drug following disappointing trial results. The drug, TC-5619, one of the company's most advanced treatments, failed to reduce symptoms associated with schizophrenia in a mid-stage study.

Viewing news of trauma worse than experiencing it

After the Boston marathon bombings, people who spent six hours a day scouring media for updates were more traumatized than those who were actually there, a US study suggested Monday. The study raised questions about the psychological impact of repeated exposure to violence via digital and traditional media in the first major terror attack on US soil since September 11, 2001. The findings were based on a survey of 4,675 US adults taken shortly after the deadly April 15 attacks and the frenzied five-day manhunt in which one suspect was killed and his brother was arrested.

Singer Susan Boyle reveals she has Asperger's syndrome: paper

(Reuters) - Scottish singer Susan Boyle says she has a form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome, a diagnosis she says came as a relief after years of believing she had brain damage. Boyle, 52, told the Observer newspaper in an interview published Saturday she had sought help from a Scottish specialist a year ago believing her childhood diagnosis of brain damage was incorrect.
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